How to Write a Great Band or Artist Biography

Dan Kimpel was kind enough to add his tips on writing an excellent band / artist biography to The Music Snob wiki, which we are featuring here because it’s a very popular article…Hope it gives you some good ideas for your own bios!

Writing a Great Band or Artist Biography

A bio is the cement that holds your presentation together, creates your identity, brands your style and leads the reader directly to the music. Ideally, your bio should be applicable for multiple purposes: a key ingredient in your press kit, an essential element on the homepage of your website and as an easy introduction to bookers, journalists, fans and the music business at large. Music people are intuitive about press and publicity materials, and if a bio is non-existent, shoddy, poorly written, off-putting or amateurish, odds are the music it represents will share these same adverse qualities. Keep in mind that if you are using your bio to generate press, oft-times overworked and underpaid journalists with lift the exact phrases and words in your bio for articles and reviews.

Recording artists, songwriters, musicians, composers, performers and producers all benefit from having well tailored, professional bios. In this article MC advises your how to create an effective bio in reverse, by advising you what not to do.

1. Don’t tell, show. Beware the hackneyed cliché, the imprecise metaphor, and the goofy, strained adjective. “Joe Jones is a brilliant artist,” or “Sue Smith is destined for stardom,” are lame and off-putting. The bio must lead the reader to his own conclusions. Telling a reader what to feel or think may lead to the exact opposite impression.

2. Avoid the time machine. “She began playing piano at the tender age of four, and by age five….” Instant naptime. Begin your bio in the present, and then go back in time, but only so far as the story is fascinating. Beware dating yourself: if you’ve had an extensive career, you may want to be non-specific about years and simply summarize the main points and experiences.

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